Short-Term Business Loans 2017: Best Options

Small Business, Small Business Loans
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Short term business loans can help in an emergency

Short-term business loans can give your business the fast cash it needs to bridge cash-flow gaps, handle emergencies and unexpected expenses, or take advantage of a business opportunity.

Think of them as quick-turnaround loans: Borrow what you can pay back relatively quickly so you can focus on running your business rather than managing debt.


You can choose between a short-term loan or a short-term line of credit. Lines of credit are more flexible and generally have shorter repayment periods than short-term loans, making them more suitable for managing cash flow. (However, there are pitfalls of short-term business loans.)

Here are short-term financing options from online business lenders. Scroll right to see the full table.

Short-term business loans: Summary of options

Funding optionsKabbageKabbage_Logo_150x40Fundbox fundbox BlueVinebluevine

Lending Clublending_club_logo_new-249x47OnDeckondeckStreetSharesStreet SharesCredibility CapitalcredibilitycapitallogoBond Street
Best ForBad credit borrowersBad credit borrowersBridging cash-flow gapsBusinesses who want low rates and high credit limitsFast cash for an expansionWorking capital loans under $100,000Strong credit borrowersBusinesses with strong revenue
Loan Details
Loan Amount$2,000 to $150,000$1,000 to $100,000$5,000 to $100,000$5,000 to $300,000$5,000 to $500,000$2,000 to $100,000$10,000 to $350,000$10,000 to $1 million
APR24% to 99%15% to 59%16% to 62%8% to 35%9% to 99%9% to 40%10% to 25%8% to 25%
Minimum Qualifications
Personal Credit ScoreNo minimum
No minimum600600500600650640
Annual Revenue$50,000$25,000$120,000$75,000$100,000$25,000$100,000$200,000
Time in Business1 year6 months6 months2 years1 year1 year1 year2 years
Apply now at Kabbage
Apply now at Fundbox
Apply now at BlueVine
Apply now at Lending Club
Apply now at OnDeck
Apply now at StreetShares
Apply now at Credibility Capital
Apply now at Bond Street

For more details:

Short-term lines of credit

Short-term business loans

Short-term lines of credit

If you need to bridge cash-flow gaps: Kabbage, Fundbox and bluevine

Kabbage and Fundbox are good options for borrowers with bad credit.

  • Pros: No minimum personal credit score is required at either lender; fast funding
  • Cons: Kabbage is costly compared with other options; Fundbox repayment terms only go up to 12 weeks, compared to six or 12 months at Kabbage
Kabbage_Logo_150x40
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $150,000
  • APR: 24% to 99%
  • Loan term: Repaid over six or 12 months
  • Funding time: A few minutes to several days
  • Read our Kabbage review.
Apply now at Kabbage
fundbox

Line of credit

  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $100,000
  • APR: 15% to 59%
  • Loan term: Weekly repayments up to 12 weeks
  • Funding time: As fast as next business day
  • Read our Fundbox review

Apply now at Fundbox

BlueVine is a good option for newer businesses.

  • Pros: Only requires a minimum six months in business to qualify; fast funding
  • Cons: High borrowing costs; need strong revenue

bluevine-e1431706679103
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $100,000
  • APR: 16% to 62%
  • Loan term: Repaid over six months
  • Funding time: As fast as 24 hours
  • Read our BlueVine review.
Apply now at BlueVine

If you’re looking for low rates: Lending Club

Lending Club is a good option for good-credit borrowers.

  • Pros: Low rates; lines of credit max out at $300,000
  • Cons: Need strong credit and an established business to qualify

LendingClub-box

Line of credit

  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $300,000.
  • APR: 8% to 35%.
  • Loan term: Repaid up to 25 months.
  • Funding time: Less than a week.
  • Read our Lending Club review.
Apply now at Lending Club


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Short-term business loans

If you need fast cash: OnDeck and StreetShares

OnDeck is a good option if you don’t have perfect credit.

  • Pros: High borrowing amounts; fast funding
  • Cons: Costly financing; frequent repayments

StreetShares is a good option if you have low revenue.

  • Pros: Revenue requirement starts at $25,000; no prepayment penalties
  • Cons: Funding maxes out at $100,000

ondeck
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $500,000
  • APR: 9% to 99%
  • Loan term: Repaid daily or weekly for three to 36 months
  • Funding time: As fast as 24 hours but typically a few days
  • Read our OnDeck review.
Apply now at OnDeck
StreetShares-e1459274893272
  • Loan amount: $2,000 to $100,000 (capped at 20% of annual revenue)
  • APR: 9% to 40%
  • Loan term: Three to 36 months
  • Funding time: One to five days.
  • Read our StreetShares review.
Apply now at StreetShares

If you want low rates: Credibility Capital and Bond Street

Credibility Capital is a good option if you have strong credit.

  • Pros: Low rates starting at 10%; no prepayment penalties
  • Cons: Requires strong credit; shorter repayment terms

Bond Street is a good option for larger expansions.

  • Pros: Low rates starting at 8%; higher borrowing amounts of up to $1 million
  • Cons: Need strong revenue to qualify; frequent repayments

credibilitycapitallogo
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $350,000
  • APR: 10% to 25%
  • Loan term: One, two or three years
  • Funding time: Seven days on average
  • Read our Credibility Capital review.
Apply now at Credibility Capital
horizontal-black
  • Loan amount: $10,000 to $1 million
  • APR: 8% to 25%
  • Loan term: One to three years
  • Approval time: Average of three to four days
  • Read our Bond Street review.
Apply now at Bond Street

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Pitfalls of short-term loans

While short-term business loans provide fast cash, they do come with some disadvantages, including:

  • Higher cost: Short-term business loans typically carry a higher annual percentage rate, or APR, than long-term loans. Use NerdWallet’s business loan calculator to figure out how much a loan will cost you.
  • More frequent repayments: Some lenders require payments daily or weekly as opposed to monthly. Although these payments are smaller, their frequency can be an issue for businesses that have uneven sales or don’t always hold much cash in a bank account.
  • Risk of debt trap: The speed and ease of short-term business loans can become addictive. Instead of repaying the debt in full, business owners may be enticed to refinance and roll over the debt into a new loan.

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Find and compare the best small-business loans

NerdWallet has created a comparison tool of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged factors including lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

Steve Nicastro is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Steven.N@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @StevenNicastro.

Updated July 27, 2017.